Chances are that you’re one of the many CrossFit folks who are currently ramping up their training. Whether it’s for the upcoming Taranis Winter Challenge, simple preparation for the CrossFit Open 2013 competition, or for the Whole Life Challenge, you may be WOD’ing your little heart out and finding that your recovery is tougher than you had planned on.
Here is a little reminder about what you should think about when deciding to take a rest day, or temporarily dial back your training in order to optimize full recovery.
First of all, rest assured that everyone (who is training at their proper capacity) experiences what is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. Sometimes these DOMS can feel so bad that walking, sitting, and moving-in-general is pure agony. But does this pain mean you should take a day off?
According to strength training guru Mark Rippetoe, DOMS alone do not dictate the need for a rest day. Rippetoe advises in general that you should still train through the basic DOMS. If you happen to have acute, severe DOMS which continue to interfere with your basic range of motion even after you have completed a thorough warm-up, then that is a good time to take a rest. Summary: pain and limited mobility at the start of your warm-up that dissipates = fine to proceed. Pain and limited mobility that does not improve despite your thorough warm-up = REST TIME.
Paying attention to how your warm-up goes is actually a good daily practice. Let’s say that you arrive at the gym super fatigued with no energy, feeling lethargic. If your energy is picking up during your warm-up, go ahead and continue on like a champ. If after your warm-up you still feel like a banana slug without motivation, perhaps it’s time to either dial way back on your WOD effort and workout weight, or simply take the day off.
Sometimes increased training can cause your body to start feeling worn, and even minorly injured. I don’t mean the regular type of DOMS soreness, but rather new aches and pains, perhaps in muscles or joints, that leave you just not feeling quite right. This is also a good opportunity to back down and rest up. Listening to these small signals that your body sends you is a fantastic way to avoid greater injury.
Are you pushing as hard as you can during your workouts, and still finding that your numbers and times aren’t progressing, and are in fact getting worse? Or, are you getting lots of good, deep sleep, and still not feeling refreshed, leaving you yawning all the live-long day? These signs can indicate that it’s time for a rest.
If you find yourself identifying with the signs mentioned here, then there are a few different ways that you can give your body a break.
You can take a whole week off. Tough to do, but your body will appreciate the extended time away from strain! This can also help you get back in the game mentally, and leave you looking forward to getting back in the gym.
If you can’t commit to a whole week, just try taking a couple days off. Some rest is better than no rest.
You can, of course, keep training in the gym, but keep it down to a dull roar at submaximal loads and intensities and a different, lesser work volume. If you absolutely MUST get in your workout, at least do it at 50-60% of your full effort.
And of course in the midst of all this conscientious ‘resting’, make SURE you are doing all the right, usual recovery-friendly things; healthy food, adequate sleep, and faithful stretching and mobility will all go a long way to keeping your body fresh and ready to rock.
Buy In -Tall Snatch technique – complete 20 reps with a barbell only. Focus on pulling under the bar
WOD – “09 Games Snatch-Wallball”
Three rounds for time of:
30 Wallball shots (14/20lb)
30 Squat snatches (55/75lb) (movement initiates with barbell below the knees)
Zone 4 – RX weight but scale reps to 20 each per round
Zone 3 – scale snatch to 45/65lbs
Zone 2 – scale wallballs to 10/14lbs, scale snatch to barbell only
Zone 1 – scale to hang power snatch or overhead squat, scale reps as needed
Cash Out – MWOD
Roll out shoulders with a lacrosse ball
Couch stretch (2 minutes per side)